Adoption law

Adoption law concerns the adoption of a person as a child. The adoption of underage children as well as the adoption of adults has far-reaching consequences for all parties involved.

Background to adoption law

Adoption law has developed historically from the need to compensate for the lack of own offspring by adopting offspring.

Nowadays, the purpose is usually to care for the child to be adopted. However, the desire to settle an estate is also a reason for clients to consider adoption.

A consultation with our lawyers can clarify the extent to which these motives are relevant under adoption law.

Adoption by spouses

Under adoption law, adoption by spouses means that both become joint parents of the adopted child. The same applies to so-called stepchild adoption, where, for example, a first child of a minor is adopted by one of the spouses. In principle, a child cannot be adopted by a married couple individually, but only by both spouses jointly.

As a result of a stepchild adoption, the relationship to the other biological parent and their relatives ends. Adoption law therefore provides for a careful examination of this decision against the background of the best interests of the child.

Adoption law is currently unable to keep pace with the growing number of diverse family models. It lacks a differentiated structure. At present, for example, only stepchild adoption leads to both spouses gaining full custody. It is questionable whether this always does justice to the interests of the spouses. The question arises, among other things, because the maintenance obligations extend beyond the duration of the marriage.

It is also essential to consider whether adoption does not conflict with the child's emotional ties.

In order to gain an overview of the personal consequences of an adoption decision and to find a good solution for the parties involved, it is advisable to seek legal advice.

Adoption by unmarried people

Under adoption law, joint adoption by unmarried couples is excluded. The legal situation has changed since the revision of the European Convention on the Adoption of Children with effect from 1 July 2015.

The legal model is based on the best interests of the child, in particular the existence of a de facto parent-child relationship. Our lawyers are constantly monitoring the options available here. Please feel free to arrange a consultation to discuss your personal concerns with our experts in adoption law.

Adoption by registered partners

Since 2005, adoption law has stipulated that registered partners can also adopt their partner's biological child. This goes hand in hand with the termination of the relationship to the other biological parent and their relatives. In terms of adoption law, such a far-reaching step requires careful scrutiny. It must be analysed whether the best interests of the child are permanently safeguarded by the transfer of parental responsibility.

The situation in which two partners realise their desire to have a child with the help of a sperm donation is of great relevance in adoption law practice. In this case, the child is not assigned to a man under parentage law. Here too, however, adoption is the legal way to bring about the social parenthood of the other partner.

To clarify your individual questions about adoption law, arrange an appointment with our lawyers.

Adoption law and adoption mediation

The placement of an adoption, i.e. the matching of minors with people willing to adopt, is the responsibility of the youth welfare offices, state youth welfare offices and certain non-profit organisations. The organisation of placements is strictly regulated.

Adoption always requires a court decision.

Adoption rights for adults

The adoption of adults is subject to different requirements than the adoption of a minor as a child. The adoption of adults is generally not a full adoption.

Information about adoption rights in advance

It often makes sense to obtain detailed information about the procedure and its requirements and effects before initiating adoption proceedings.

We advise and support those wishing to adopt as well as other parties involved in the process (e.g. biological parents of the adoptee, children of the adopters).

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